Developing a blood test for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease
Dr Ryan's project is to study the blood of Alzheimer’s disease patients to find markers of the disease that we can use to develop a blood test for early detection of illness. Current methods for diagnosis are not very useful, as definitive diagnosis can only occur after death. His previous studies show that blood components can provide evidence of the disease, and, to enhance the accuracy of our current blood based indicators for Alzheimer’s disease, he is investigating changes in protein levels in the red blood cell fraction of blood. These cells have not been thoroughly investigated for general protein changes due to the large differences in the amount of various proteins present in the cells. The first part of his findings is the development of methods to remove the abundant proteins and be able to investigate the less abundant proteins. In doing this he has so far identified 20-40 proteins which have potential to act as diagnostic markers for the disease, and may form part of a blood test for Alzheimer’s disease in the future.
Dr Ryan participated in the Dementia News podcast.
Dr Ryan is a Research Fellow based at the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health. He began his two year AADRF funded research fellowship in early 2013.